A photographer snapped a once-in-a-lifetime sight of a “horizontal rainbow” that spanned the whole sky.

Fire rainbows aren’t rainbows and have nothing to do with fire. This visual phenomenon, known technically as circumhorizontal arcs, occurs when the sun is higher than 58° in the sky. Cirrus clouds, which are thin, feathery clouds that originate at higher altitudes, are also a component of these arcs. Because the temperature where these clouds live is so low, they are composed of hexagonal ice crystals. When these crystals are perfectly aligned, they operate as a prism, resulting in rainbow-like refraction.

Cessna Kutz shot a stunning fire rainbow above Lake Sammamish.

“Witnessed unique phenomena out on Lake Sammamish today,” Cessna writes on Instagram after posting the stunning photograph. “A rainbow that runs horizontally!” It reminded me gently to cling to hope and love rather than fear and terror in these uncertain times. Friends, stay careful out there.”

An optical phenomenon happens when the sun is higher than 58° above the horizon.

The photographs went viral almost immediately after the photographer released them. “I had no clue these photographs would make the headlines,” Cessna told one news station. “I just wanted to share a nice scene I witnessed.” I’m really enthusiastic about photography. Therefore I’m happy that God has used my images to affect individuals throughout the country and worldwide. It’s helped my photography company and made an impression on others, which is quite incredible.”

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